Daley: I never would have missed Commonwealth Games
DALEY Thompson doesn't need to pause for thought when asked if he'd be traveling to next month's Commonwealth Games, if he was still competing.
"I'd be there. Definitely. Every time," he said.
FLASHBACK: Daley Thompson won his third and final Commonwealth Games decathlon title at Edinburgh in 1986 (Action Images)
Thompson made his international breakthrough when he won gold at the 1978 Games in Edmonton and within eight years he'd added two Olympic, one world and two more Commonwealth decathlon titles to his collection.
At the 1986 Games in Edinburgh, healthy living Thompson incurred the wrath of organisers when presented with a bib emblazoned with the logo Guinness, he scribbled through the sponsors name.
But he had the final laugh and after a trademark lumbering 1500m performance, which secured gold by a handsome margin, a 8663 score that remains a Games record, he peeled off his vest to reveal a t-shirt that read ‘Pure Genius'.
It was vintage Daley, right up there with his nonchalant whistling of the national anthem after claiming his second Olympic title in Los Angeles.
"I hold my Commonwealth medals in high regard," said Thompson.
"I have always considered myself a competitor and any medal won at a top level competition is always high on my list.
As far as the withdrawals go, I think it's down to each performer and what they want from their preparations. For Jessica Ennis, she is already a world champion and maybe the Commonwealth Games is not high on her priority list."
"It may not be as strong as the Olympics, but it's a strong competition never the less and I would have done anything to perform at my best in those events.
"The most important thing I have done in sport is manage to have a proper career which lasted ten years or more at the highest level and every event and every medal I won is cherished."
Many top athletes will be missing in Delhi for a number of reasons - with the majority citing concerns that extending their seasons into October would then impact on their winter training schedule, with next year's World Championships in Daegu a priority.
Scheduling their event remains a major issue for the Commonwealth Games Federation - indeed since Auckland in 1990, only two of the last six Games, Victoria in 1994 and Manchester in 2002, have been staged in summer months.
As an athlete Thompson was always good for a quote and a bit of controversy but these days he takes a more laid-back view.
"As far as the withdrawals go, I think it's down to each performer and what they want from their preparations," he adds.
"For Jessica Ennis, she is already a world champion and maybe the Commonwealth Games is not high on her priority list.
"It's not for everyone for various reasons, there will be a few people dropping out who don't want to be shown up, people who don't want others to see where they are at or how far behind schedule they are.
"I can sympathise that some people might not want to compete if they aren't on top of their game but if it was me, I'd be there.
"And when you think about it, in some track and field events, we are going to have Jamaicans and Kenyans and some of the top athletes from all over the world."